Louisiana Rep. Charlie Melancon (D) on Wednesday called for the firing of BP CEO Tony Hayward in the wake of the massive Gulf oil spill.

BP leases the rig on which an explosion occurred over a month ago, causing the spill which so far the company and the government have failed to stop.


Melancon -- who is challenging Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) in the fall -- said that Hayward's job performance throughout the spill cleanup has not been up to par. He specifically cited comments he made this weekend that he "wants [his] life back."

"I was watching this week as the CEO of BP said he wants his life back. I'm to the point where I wish the board would call him back," he said on ABC's "Good Morning America" program.

Asked if he was calling for his firing, the congressman said "If I perform the way this company has performed, and of course look at the stocks and what has happened in this incident, usually the buck stops there."

Hayward has been a lightning rod for criticism from the public as oil continues to spill into the Gulf. Some have accused the company of being unprepared for the spill.

Melancon is among the first lawmakers to call for Hayward's ouster. Both Vitter and the congressman have been outspoken during the spill, which is threatening the Louisiana coastline and has impacted the commercial fishing industry there. 

The Obama administration has said that it is imposing final approval on all of BP's actions during the spill, stressing that it is in control of the situation.

The chief executive has said the company is trying to contain oil offshore. "As far as I'm concerned, a cup of oil on the beach is a failure," he said last weekend.

"What we're not faced with is a complete line of oil coming at us. It's more like guerrilla insurgency, if I can use military jargon," Hayward said. "And what we need to do is have a rapid response capability to get it as we identify it, rather than have it come onto the shore or onto the marsh."

A senior BP official on Sunday rejected the idea that Hayward should be forced out. “I think Tony's doing a fantastic job,” said BP Managing Director Robert Dudley on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.”

Cross-posted to E-2 Wire